interesting zinc review
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1991 Vol 53, 403-412
Discovery of human zinc deficiency and studies in an experimental human model
The importance of zinc for human health was first documented in 1963. During the past 25 y, deficiency of zinc in humans due to nutritional factors and several disease states has now been recognized. The high phytate content of cereal proteins is known to decrease the availability of zinc, thus the prevalence of zinc deficiency is likely to be high in a population consuming large quantities of cereal proteins. Alcoholism, malabsorption, sickle cell anemia, chronic renal disease, and chronically debilitating diseases are now known to be predisposing factors for zinc deficiency. A spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from mild to severe degree have now been recognized in human zinc-deficiency states. Zinc is required for many biological functions including DNA synthesis, cell division, and gene expression. It is required for the activity of many enzymes in biological systems. Recent studies indicate that zinc is needed for cell-mediated immunity.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000;182:S62–S68
Effects of Zinc Deficiency on Th1 and Th2 Cytokine Shifts
Ananda S. Prasad
Nutritional deficiency of zinc is widespread throughout developing countries, and zinc‐deficient persons have increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. Zinc deficiency in an experimental human model caused an imbalance between Th1 and Th2 functions. Production of interferon‐γ and interleukin (IL)‐2 (products of Th1) were decreased, whereas production of IL‐4, IL‐6, and IL‐10 (products of Th2) were not affected during zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency decreased natural killer cell lytic activity and percentage of precursors of cytolytic T cells. In HuT‐78, a Th0 cell line, zinc deficiency decreased gene expression of thymidine kinase, delayed cell cycle, and decreased cell growth. Gene expression of IL‐2 and IL‐2 receptors (both α and β) and binding of NF‐κB to DNA were decreased by zinc deficiency in HuT‐78. Decreased production of IL‐2 in zinc deficiency may be due to decreased activation of NF‐κB and subsequent decreased gene expression of IL‐2 and IL‐2 receptors.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 28, No. 3, 257-265 (2009)
Impact of the Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency on Health
Ananda S. Prasad, MD, PhD, MACN
The essentiality of zinc was recognized 46 years ago. Zinc deficiency resulting in growth retardation, hypogonadism, immune dysfunction and cognitive impairment affects nearly 2 billion subjects in the developing world. High phytate content of the cereal proteins consumed in the developing world, results in decreased availability of zinc for absorption. Zinc therapy has been very successful and life saving measure in patients with acrodermatitis enteropathica and Wilson's disease. Beneficial therapeutic responses of zinc supplementation have been ovserved in acute diarrhea in children, chronic hepatitis C, shigellosis, leprosy, leishmaniasis, and common cold. Zinc supplementation was effective in decreasing incidences of infection in elderly and patients with sickle cell disease. Zinc supplementation was effective in preventing blindness in 25% of the elderly with dry type of age related macular degeneration. Zinc supplementation in the elderly decreased oxidative stress and decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines.
Zinc is an intracellular signaling molecule in monocytes, dendritic cells and macrophages and it plays an important role in cell-mediated immune functions and oxidative stress. Zinc is also an anti-inflammatory agent. These unique properties of zinc may have significant therapeutic benefits in several diseases in humans. In many diseases concurrent zinc deficiency may complicate the clinical features, affect adversely immunological status, increase oxidative stress and increase generation of inflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation may play important causative roles in many chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, several malignancies, neurological disorders, and auto-immune diseases. It is therefore, important that status of zinc is assessed and zinc deficiency corrected in these chronic diseases. A controlled clinical trial of zinc supplementation in these disorders in order to document the preventive and therapeutic effects of zinc is warranted.
repeat: link to interesting article on zinc and vascular health
http://www.rowett.ac.uk/newsletter/Reso ... ticle4.pdf